As of today, I have been in the US for 4 months. To be honest, it feels like 4 minutes. Coming home after my 1st year in Spain was awful. I didn’t want to return and I resented being back. That led to sadness, intense reverse culture shock, and anger. My experience this time around is the other side of the coin. Returning after my 3rd year, I have those feelings but only mildly, if at all. I decided over a year ago to move to New Jersey and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. That being said, I must say it’s terrifying to move to a new place with no idea what will happen. Up until a month ago, I had no idea where I’d be living, where I’d be working, or when I’d be moving out of my parents’ house. That’s a hell of a lot of uncertainty for a girl who, for the past 8 years, always had plans to go back to Spain. In Madrid, I was a student and an English Teacher. What will I be now?
Transitioning is a strange thing. I’ve experienced that it’s unnerving, scary, thrilling, uneasy, and amazing. Needless to say, my emotional state since moving stateside has been like Six Flags’ newest rollercoaster: up and down with some sharp turns thrown in.
But then comes the part of the transition that I always seem to forget about: settling in. After all those intense opposing emotions, you reach a moment when you start to feel at home. You find your rhythm within the new environment. You create a new friend group, find your favorite restaurants, and accept the mundaneness of the new commute to work. You begin to live in a place and learn all its nuances. For me, it’s when I start to fall in love with a place.
If we’re looking at a timeline of “My Big Transition”, these past two months have absolutely been the most uneasy, but the ones that have decided the most. It became clear that moving in with my Long Distance boyfriend was the right move. After 7 intense days of confusion about where to live, that also became crystal clear. My job search became more focused and geared towards my passion. It recently paid off when I accepted a part-time job in Manhattan in exactly the field I want. Funny how that works out.
Now it’s time for the Settling In part. That means new discoveries, challenges, and friends (and lots of new yummy restaurants… or gross ones. Who knows). Stay tuned to see how moving to and working in one of the most famous cities in the world pans out for this girl who still enjoys café con leche and pan con tomate y jamón for snack time and lunch at 2pm.